Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

University Elections Board Resigns


The University’s entire Student Government Association Elections Board has resigned because of what members cited in a statement Sunday as “a blatant disregard and disrespect for the rules during our last election cycle.”

The board’s announcement, in a letter sent to The Crimson White (see P. 4), centers around SGA campaign violations that it found in late February had been committed by presidential candidate Jared Hunter. Instead of sanctioning Hunter, the board sent its findings on to the University’s Office of Student Conduct for further investigation.

Hunter subsequently won the March 7 election and took office as SGA president, despite the findings. Among several violations the board cited was Hunter’s failure to fulfill a required 10 hours of community imposed for a previous violation. The board also found that his public acknowledgement of an endorsement from Theta Nu Epsilon (the secretive political organization known as “The Machine”) violated a section in the SGA Elections Manual.

Since the election, the Office of Student Conduct has reviewed the case, and made a determination over the summer break. However, because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 the ruling is not available to the public. Hunter has continued to serve as SGA president.

“We do not believe the Elections Board, in the current climate, to be a viable entity for ensuring genuinely fair elections,” board members said in the letter to The Crimson White. 

Keeli Mallory, who graduated from UA in May and served as the chair of the Elections Board during the past year, spoke on behalf of the entire board about what led to its decision to resign. She said the board was updated throughout the OSC’s investigation and was notified about the investigation’s results.

“We don’t regret our decision to send [Hunter’s case] to [the Office of Student Conduct],” Mallory said. “Our reaction to their findings were not what we believed would happen.”

Hunter, a senior majoring in political science, said he was unable to comment on the OSC investigation’s results, but said he disagrees with the Elections Board’s original findings. The Elections Board initially required Hunter to complete 10 hours of community service before March 6. The Board in its violations report noted that Hunter failed to complete this requirement. Because he did not complete the original required number of hours, Hunter was required to complete a certain number of service hours before the end of the spring semester. Hunter said he has completed this requirement.

“While I personally don’t agree with [the sanctions], I was given them by the Office of Student Conduct and the Elections Board so I did my best to fulfill them and I completed the service hours they required of me in the required time and am continuing to abide by the sanctions that I was, you know, given after the fact,” he said.

In a statement to The Crimson White Sunday, the University spokesman Chris Bryant underscored that the findings from OSC must remain confidential.

“The Office of Student Conduct’s review of the Election Board’s referral was completed earlier this summer. Any outcome of a student conduct review is considered confidential according to student privacy law. The Election Board’s important work and diligence over the past year is appreciated,” the statement read.

In the aftermath of the OSC’s investigation, board members felt their best course of action was to resign. Mallory said this decision was determined to be the best way to make a statement to the Hunter administration, the student body and the University administration that change is necessary in order to have fair elections.

The board called on students to denounce corruption in their statement. The board called on Hunter “to account – voluntarily, but fully and also publicly – for his actions.” The board also called on Theta Nu Epsilon to “end its charade of secrecy.”

In the statement the board said it is disconcerted at the obvious disregard and disrespect for election laws that occurred during the SGA elections.

As for the future of The Elections Board, it will be filled by four undergraduate students, two graduate or law school students, one voting faculty member and one non-voting staff member as outlined by the SGA Constitution. One of the undergraduate positions is filled by the SGA president, while the other positions are filled by the University’s vice president for student affairs.

For a look at the complete violation report, see the full statement below.

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